We were on a 5 day from 21 June to 26 June and it was our 4th trip on the Fascination. We last went on her back in January and it was pretty awful to tell the truth. The crew just seemed unhappy and were for the most part going through the motions. Even those who we knew from earlier cruises just seemed like it was a real struggle for them to get through the day. We had decided that if this time it was bad we would be making the longer drive further into Florida from now on. At the end of the 5 days (actually from the first day) we knew we would be back!
The service on board was great and whether it was the waiters/waitresses on the Lido Deck or the people in the dining room it was as good from start to finish. The food was fantastic. We recently sailed on MSC Divina and the Prime Rib you could see through. The Prime Rib on Fascination was a half inch thick and as good as you will find. I don't think I have ever seen Chateaubriand served on a cruise ship before but I know I More
have never eaten any better version at any restaurant. All the food was great and our waiter Aku and his team were fantastic.
Our 16 year old granddaughter came with us for her first cruise and we were a little concerned that the O2 group wouldn't keep her busy but she never slowed down! They gave them a schedule of events the first night and she made a batch of friends doing everything from playing mini golf to the water slide to the dancing and karaoke in the O2 club. She was also one of the performers in the guest talent show and got to sing in front of a packed showroom!
The crew had smiles all around and were ready to help anyway they could. We usually hang out at the Stars Bar and the bartenders there were always fun and after the first night they knew what each of us drank and made sure we never went thirsty. The entertainment in that area was both awesome and awful. Greg Altman was fantastic and sang some beautiful songs along with some great old rock stuff and even mixed in a little country every so often. He is also immensely funny and interacted with the crowd from start to finish which only complemented what is a great voice. Sadly, the other act that performed at the Stars Bar was awful other than the lead guitarist. Remembering Melanie needs to go back to the garage and practice and pick up some new vocalists. Every one of the 3 previous cruises had a group that played in that area were as good as I've ever seen. One of the crew members even told us the crowd in that area is much below what all the other performers bring in and they realized the group is not very good at all.
This was a great cruise but I would suggest that you get to the ship before noon. We got there at 1230 and didn't get through the check in process until after 2PM. I talked to one of the gents that I recognized from the last cruises we went on out of Jacksonville and he told me to get there about 11 next time. The cruise was booked but the line went outside the building to the far end and then back down past the baggage drop off area only to be followed by the zig zag approach concept to security. We then had to wait inside the check in area for another 15 minutes but as soon as we got to the counter things got moving very quickly.